The Ancient One’s Casting In Doctor Strange Was ‘A Lesson’ For Marvel

We currently live in a very delicate political landscape. More than ever, minority groups are willing to call out Hollywood in their ways, in the hopes of getting represented on the big screen.

Hollywood has been a bit slow, but is now realizing there’s real money to be made in making films with a diverse cast. Black Panther‘s strong pre-sales performance is proving that this is what audiences want. However, in trying to stay as universal as possible, sometimes missteps are made: such was the case when they cast Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One, a character who is usually portrayed as a Tibetan male in the comics.

Speaking with, producer Nate Moore discussed this misstep, saying:

“Sometimes we step in it, a little bit. I think the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was a lesson for us, and in trying to avoid a stereotype we created an issue that we completely understood in hindsight, but we want to tell stories for everybody. We’ve always tried to find room for faces that look like everybody and not just homogeneous casting. Panther, obviously, is a big swing, which we hope to continue through many, many sequels, and take some of these characters and put them in even other franchises because I do think there’s a way to cross-pollinate in an interesting way, but it’s also finding new heroes and new stories that allow us to do that organically. Looking at casting as a way to find the best actor or actress regardless of race or gender, frankly.”

So what is the right way to cast diverse films? Moore pointed to a franchise that had, over the course of its 15-year run, become one of the more quietly diverse movie franchises ever.

“I always point to the Fast and Furious franchise as sort of, weirdly, the standard bearer for casting a film that travels everywhere, because somebody is represented no matter where you go. I think that’s really valuable. I think it does something sort of culturally that it’s hard to put a finger on, but that you really see pay off.”

What do you think of Moore’s comments? Do you think The Ancient One was a misstep, or were viewers being too sensitive? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and contributor at LRM Online. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.

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